NIAC LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE
it's on US
In the past year we’ve experienced a troubling rise of xenophobia and discrimination against Iranian Americans. Our friends and families have dealt with the traumatic effects of the Muslim ban. Our children ask us why our President hates us. The possibility of war with Iran has become an every day fear.
For decades, Iranian Americans have shied away from politics. Now, that void is being filled with strong pro-war, anti-immigrant, anti-diplomacy, bigoted voices.
We face these threats because we do not have enough power as a community. But it’s not too late to change that.
The path to power starts with us.
It’s on US to secure our rights and empower our community for generations to come.
Empowering Our Community
Do you want to empower and strengthen the Iranian American community and build a better future for generations to come? Do you care about U.S.-Iran diplomacy? Are you passionate about civic engagement? At the conference, you will gain the platform, the tools, the connections, and the knowledge to defend and empower the Iranian American community and to stand up for U.S.-Iran peace.
Join us for three days of informative discussion, in-depth analysis, compelling entertainment, and valuable action. Now is a critical time to come together with influential scholars, business leaders, activists, and political figures to to learn how Iranians and Americans can fight apathy and really take control of America’s democratic future.
Whether you are a business professional, an entrepreneur, a community organizer, a political guru, a student, an activist, or simply want to learn how you can support your Iranian American neighbors and friends, the NIAC Leadership Conference is the event for you!
(times are subject to change as the schedule is being finalized)
1:45 - 3:00pm
PANEL ONE - Being Brown in Trump’s America: Race & the Responsibility of Iranian Americans
Moderated by: Omid Safi / Panelists: Neda Maghbouleh / Niaz Kasravi / Ellen Wu
Being brown in Trump’s America is not easy. Bigoted campaign rhetoric has trickled down to racist policies such as the Muslim Ban as well as more wide-spread everyday discrimination. But this is not the first time a wave of bigotry has swept through America. And Iranian-Americans are far from the first to deal with these challenges. What can the Iranian-American community can learn from the struggles of other marginalized communities? How can Iranian Americans contribute to the struggle against racism and stand in sympathy with other affected communities?
This workshop is required for anyone attending Congressional meetings on Monday** Donald Trump has threatened to kill the Iran deal unless Congress amends the agreement - and violates it in the process. Meanwhile, some lawmakers are working to introduce new sanctions that will jeopardize the agreement and punish ordinary Iranians. Join NIAC Action's staff to learn how Congress really works, how we will mobilize on Capitol Hill during the conference, and the most effective ways to ensure that our elected officials listen to our community on the issues that impact us most.
9:30am - 10:30am
SECOND PANEL - The Middle East: Moving Towards a New Balance or a New War?
Moderator: Nahal Toosi / Panelists: Amjad Atallah / Mehdi Hassan / Farideh Farhi / Robert Malley
Everything seems upside down in the Middle East today. Former sworn enemies Israel and Saudi Arabia are banding together to defeat Iran. Tehran is forming a partnership with former rivals Russia and Turkey. The U.S. is steadily losing influence. And the nuclear deal, which many hoped would reduce regional tensions, is itself on life support. Is the Middle East moving towards a new balance - or towards a new war? Can tensions between Riyadh and Tehran be defused or is a confrontation inevitable? Can the U.S. under Trump help stabilize the region - or is it a source of instability? These are the questions that will be discussed and more.
The 2018 elections are shaping up to be the most consequential mid-term elections in recent history. What happens at the ballot box this November will not just decide which party controls Congress, it could determine whether Trump's Muslim Ban is repealed, whether the Iran deal is protected, and whether Trump faces any real accountability. Join us for a discussion among experts on electoral politics and political organizing on the role that Iranian Americans can have in 2018.
The Iranian-American community is grossly underrepresented in politics. We have no Iranian-American members of Congress and not nearly enough of our allies are taking strong, bold actions to protect and best represent the rights and interests of our community. At the end of the day, what elected officials care about most is getting re-elected, not the merits of an issue. So we need to organize and we need to vote. Learn how NIAC Action plans on running the largest voter outreach campaign targeting our community and how your involvement can help unseat some of the worst Congressional offenders to our community and elect potential champions.
After a weekend of engaging panels and discussions, we turn our words into action.
PANEL FOUR - A perfect storm in Iran - corruption, mismanagement, climate change and failed sanctions relief
Capitol Hill - Boxed lunches will be served
Recent protests reminded us of the hardships the Iranian people are enduring. But unlike the 2009 protests, these had many causes and roots: From social and political restrictions to the economic mismanagement, corruption, failure of sanctions relief - to possibly even climate change. Will the protests spur reform, or beget greater repression? Has the population lost hope in reform, or will this perfect storm open up new avenues for peaceful change from within?
NIAC is developing an exciting range of panels that will go in depth on subjects such as the image of the Iranian-American community, discrimination against minority communities, the geopolitical components of the future of the U.S.-Iran relationship, how sanctions affect our community, Iranian-American civic participation, and much more. More details coming soon.
Kevan is a historical sociologist studying development and social change in the global South. His first book, A Social Revolution: Politics and the Welfare State in Iran, is published by University of California Press. His current research projects focus on: